stretch the rules

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stretch the rules

To allow something to be done which is technically against the rules or not normally accepted. It's galling to know that the management team, who are so strict with the lower-level employees, all stretch the rules to give themselves more vacation time and bigger bonuses. You're normally not allowed to take an exam if you arrive late, but because of the student's excuse, his teacher stretched the rules for him.
See also: rule, stretch

bend/stretch the ˈrules

allow somebody to break the rules to some extent because you think there is a good reason: We don’t normally employ people over 50, but in your case we’re prepared to bend the rules a little.
See also: bend, rule, stretch
References in periodicals archive ?
But the House General Investigating Committee isn't through with this case, and it's clear that, at the very least, this stretched the rules in a way that has never been allowed.
7 JORDAN RHODES Was kept largely under wraps, often by means which stretched the rules, but got in some nice tee-ups.
"Others appear to have stretched the rules determining the designation of their second home to the limits of credulity."
He said: "They seem to have stretched the rules. The lawyers are aware and will contest this." And former chairman Leon Crouch said: "The league could have waited.
And even if there is no hard evidence to suggest that Ferguson stretched the rules in his lengthy courtship of such targets, we have Jaap Stam's written testimony that he was tapped up while he was still a contracted employee of PSV Eindhoven - an autobiography indiscretion that signalled the Dutch defender's premature departure to pastures new.
Parts of the acquisition either stretched the rules or ignored them completely.
"Bad enough dealing with real football people like Billy McNeill and John Lyall at West Ham, as well as grumpy b*** like Alex Ferguson when I stretched the rules.
When attempting to find squares that had an area of 2 square units, most students first stretched the rules of the problem as they worked on their geoboards.
"You'd think they could have stretched the rules and fed us as well."
But SNP chief executive Mike Russell said: "Donald Dewar has already stretched the rules beyond breaking point by making inward investment announcements after the election campaign had begun.